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A world of opportunities

Our warmest holiday wishes to you all.

The semester break will be particularly special for the couple dozen of our new first-year students who are members of our innovative Global Citizenship program. They will be bound for Shanghai and Prague—locales that take them out of their comfort zones and require them to engage with very different cultures and languages.

You see, today’s Lehigh students will live their lives on a global stage. That’s why we created our new Global Citizenship program. Being a Global Citizen doesn’t just mean being an American with an international perspective. It means being prepared and eager to listen, learn, and lead in a world that is already strained by increasing nationalism and globalization. The best college graduates will learn to thrive in such a world. Lehigh’s must be among them.

Many other global activities are available to our students. Thanks to the university’s partnership with the United Nations, Lehigh students enjoy remarkable opportunities that few of their peers will experience during their college years—or ever. In this e-newsletter, you’ll read about the recent visits to campus by the deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization to discuss the potential avian flu pandemic and by two dignitaries from the Republic of Indonesia to talk about the aftermath of the tsunami.

This past semester, students also have met privately with the ambassador of Iran to discuss nuclear proliferation and other timely topics, attended a U.N. conference on the avian flu, and taken part in an internal U.N. discussion forum on development goals.

All of these visits, conferences, events and meetings came about as the result of Lehigh’s status as one of only six universities in the world to be fully recognized by the U.N. Department of Public Information as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

Our students need to learn that different is just different and not necessarily wrong; that they are just as “foreign” to others as others are to them; that listening and thinking can count for a lot more than speaking. In the end we are all citizens of one spinning globe, and there is no way to get off.

Global Citizenship and the LU/UN Partnership are all about getting students ready to lead in a smaller and smaller but even more fascinating world. It’s about being the best. And as we both have said so many times over the past eight years, the only thing good enough for Lehigh is the best.

Again, the best of holiday wishes to you and your family, and for the New Year too!

Greg and Jean Farrington
Lehigh University President’s Office

December 2005

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2005

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